For several years in the 1990s, Mr. Zaporozhsky, a colonel in Russian intelligence who became deputy chief of the American Department, was secretly working for the C.I.A., one of the highest-ranking American moles in history, Russian prosecutors say.
After surprising his colleagues by retiring suddenly in 1997, he moved with his wife and three children to the United States and went into business. But in 2001, confident that his C.I.A. link was unsuspected, Mr. Zaporozhsky was lured back to Moscow by his former colleagues for what they promised would be a festive K.G.B. anniversary party. He was arrested at the airport, convicted of espionage and sentenced to 18 years in prison.
On Friday, Mr. Zaporozhsky was flown to Vienna and then to the Washington area for the 10-for-4 spy exchange that promises to bring to a swift conclusion the saga of the Russian spy ring exposed by the F.B.I. early last week.
His Moscow lawyer, Maria A. Veselova, said Friday that she “did not find any proof of his guilt” in her review. But circumstantial evidence suggests that he may well have provided valuable information to the United States and was well rewarded for doing so. One account by a Russian security official published in January in the newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta claimed that Mr. Zaporozhsky, who it said was code-named The Scythian by his C.I.A. contacts, was given an estimated $2 million in house purchases and other benefits by the Americans.
That savvy a spy goes back to Moscow for a party? Geez, doesn't he read any Le Carre?
And this was fun:
The relationship of Mr. Vasilenko, once a top-ranked Soviet volleyball player, with a particular C.I.A. officer, Jack Platt, has been well documented over the years. Mr. Platt has said in interviews that he tried repeatedly to recruit Mr. Vasilenko, who worked for the K.G.B. in Washington and Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s, but was rebuffed.
But in 1988, the K.G.B. learned of the contacts between the men, and Mr. Vasilenko was arrested in Havana and imprisoned in Russia for about six months before the espionage case against him fell apart. Years later, Mr. Vasilenko and Mr. Platt, both retired from their intelligence agencies, went into the private security and investigation business together.
But in 2005, when he was 64, Mr. Vasilenko, then providing security to a Moscow television channel, was rearrested and charged after a search of his home allegedly found pistols and TNT. He was convicted and remained imprisoned until his release for the exchange.
Never recruited him, ended up his business partner. It's not just politics and bedfellows.